Five steps to perfect CPD

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Maintaining your CPD is simple - follow the five steps to perfect CPD:

  1. Plan
  2. Do
  3. Record
  4. Reflect
  5. Submit


Planning your CPD starts by making an honest assessment of your current situation and determining your professional development goals for both the current year and the medium term e.g. next 2 to 3 years. Because the needs of each individual will vary, there can be no prescribed programme. It is for you to recognise your own needs and opportunities inside and outside the workplace and to take advantage of learning experiences in developing your own continuing professional development.

It is useful to ask yourshelf following questions:

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • What do I need to learn?
  • How will I learn it?

The next step is to create a plan of action to achieve these goals. Please find further guidance and examples of different learning activities here. You can also search for learning activities more specific to your register in this section.

If you are using IFST's myCPD online system to record your CPD it is easy for you to record your Personal Development Plan (PDP) there and plan of action by using simple logging and calendar.

Please remember while planning that CPD is not about quantity but quality of the activities.


Now that you've planned your CPD, it's time to get out there and start developing!

This requires time management skills and motivation to get out there and attend some activities. This offers valuable returns, as it keeps you connected to the wider food science community and improves networking skills. As educational psychologists say, you learn more by networking than attending a course.

Please remember to reflect while 'on the go' it is easy to remember the key light bulb moments which often result in improvements and changes to the current practises.


You've attended activities and events, now it's time to show for all the CPD you've done.

Now it is time to monitor and record your progress against your plan, including recording items that you may not have planned for such as training, learning and experience which nevertheless have contributed to your professional development. Having said that CPD is all about quality of the learning rather than quantity of the activities performed. CPD-recording should not be input focused (list of date and actions) but output focus (what are the benefits of learning).

IFST CPD categories all the learning and development for the 5 different learning activities. Most of the learning activities are easy however to identify but be mindful that if you consider activity being CPD but it is actually part of your normal working day in most instances it doesn’t qualify as development (CPD).

The easiest way to record your CPD is through IFST's myCPD online system. myCPD allows you to keep personal records of your professional development activities in an easy online format. However, if you prefer, your records may be kept in paper format - download a paper template. We recommend that you keep certificates issued by training providers, your written notes, and formal course materials. These should not be submitted to IFST except unless requested.

If you are using myCPD online system for record keeping your record is generate automatically as soon as planned learning activities are done and reviewed (reflected).


Reflection is a most important part of the CPD reporting since it makes you think of the value of your work for yourself, your colleagues, clients, company and the wider community. If reflection is missing planning, doind, recording the activities stays separate and CPD becomes less beneficial and meaningful as a tool. 

It is useful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What did I get out of this?
  • What have I learned?
  • How did I learn it?
  • How do I apply it in practise?
  • What is the resulting change?
  • Does this flag up any additional development which would be helpful for you to undertake?
  • What benefits will it have for your clients and/or your service?
  • How does this help to prepare for a new role?

This is the time for you to harness the value of what you have learned by bridging the gap between theory and practise. Getting this section of CPD writing correct is a key element of professionalism and successful career management.

Professionals who regularly record CPD and are good at reflecting what they have learned tend to become professionals who continuously drive for development and bring in new ideas, which benefits not only themselves but most importantly colleagues, their company and industry overall.

If you are using IFST myCPD system to record your CPD, this relates to the section called review.


Depending on your register and whether you are part of a company or individual CPD scheme, you must be prepared to declare or submit your CPD report for assessment in the requested time scale. IFST or your employee will approach you remind of the annual time for this.

If your CPD report doesn’t meet the standards and requirements of the register or your company, further evidence will be requested. Failing to submit CPD or if the submission is not sufficient enough, will result in the loss of status in the professional register.

Submit your CPD using the following:

By email: Marjo Kiiveri

By post:
Institute of Food Science & Technology 
5 Cambridge Court 
210 Shepherds Bush Road 
London W6 7NJ

Further information

If you are new to CPD writing or would like further guidance related to any section above please don’t hesitate to contact Marjo Kiiveri for further information.